Burns Charest of Dallas won a $41 million verdict this week on behalf of a Denver energy company in a dispute over a 2.3-million acre oil and gas concession in Costa Rica.
After a seven-day trial in Denver County District Court, jurors on Wednesday awarded GT Resources of Denver $33 million in damages against Black Hills Corp. of South Dakota and $8 million against a Black Hills subsidiary.
According to testimony, GT Resources founder George Mallon Jr. struck a deal with the Costa Rican government in 2000 for production rights on the vast tract. Through a series of transactions, the rights were sold to a Black Hills subsidiary, Black Hills Gas Resources.
Under its contract with the subsidiary, GT Resources retained rights to a royalty interest in the property. But Burns Charest lawyers argued that Black Hills failed to pursue opportunities for oil and gas production and eventually lost the concession.
The jury found that Black Hills violated its duty to act in good faith and deal fairly with GT Resources, and that the conduct of Black Hills interfered with GT Resources’s “prospective business advantage.”
Daniel H. Charest of Burns Charest said: “The jury worked hard to dig through both a complex set of facts and technical evidence regarding damages in terms of oil and gas valuation.”
Attorneys for Black Hills Corp. could not be reached for comment.
In addition to Charest, the trial team for GT Resources included Christopher Cormier, Larry Vincent, Chase Hilton and Andrew Bynum of Burns Charest and Lance Astrella of Astrella Law in Denver.